Microsoft has finally released its DirectStorage API to game developers.
This means that one of the most promising features of the Xbox Series X is coming to PC. DirectStorage promises to reduce boot times with optimized access to NVMe SSDs. Previously, the game could only do one login/logout at a time. This was no problem in the days of HDDs, but now that most gaming PCs have SSDs that can transfer gigabytes per second with hundreds of thousands of input/output operations per second (IOPS), it’s clear that a better method is needed. Enter DirectStorage.
DirectStorage allows NVMe SSDs to reach their full performance
Potential by performing multiple I/O operations simultaneously. This allows you to transfer assets directly to the GPU, which improves efficiency. Most game assets are compressed, which means that the CPU needs to be accessed before the resource can be loaded. In the future, DirectStorage will introduce support for GPU file compression and decompression tasks, which are naturally suited to the enormous processing power and memory bandwidth of the GPU.
Combined, DirectStorage should result in faster game loading and level transition times,
More detailed textures, and fewer in-game pop-ups. We’ll all take thanks! Microsoft has yet to reveal the names of the games that will use this technology, which is a little surprising. However, games developed by Microsoft studios or Xbox exclusives are sure to come first. Third-party developers will have to commit development resources, and given that there have been no announcements of support for the game, it may be a while before we see it in action on PC.
Nvidia previously announced its RTX I/O technology,
Which is built on top of DirectStorage. Nvidia promises many of the same things, including fast file decompression and fast load times, which are well suited to open-world games or highly detailed textures. DirectStorage will be available to Windows 10 and Windows 11 users, although of course, MS recommends using Windows 11 for best results. The company will talk more about DirectStorage at the Game Developers Conference on March 22.